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MS symptoms and signs

MS has many symptoms, but not everyone will experience all of them.

Some of the most common symptoms of multiple sclerosis include:

  • eye problems
  • numbness or tingling feelings (sometimes a bit like pins and needles)
  • fatigue
  • pain 

MS symptoms can come and go and change over time. They can be mild, or more severe. 

The symptoms of MS are caused by your immune system attacking the nerves in your brain or spinal cord by mistake. These nerves control lots of different parts of your body. That’s why you can get MS symptoms in many parts of your body, and why everyone’s MS is different. 

In this section, you can find out about what causes MS symptoms and how to manage them. 

Or find information about coronavirus and MS

Find out more about symptoms of MS

Photo: Man with MS standing with friend outside

Visible symptoms

There are lots of visible symptoms of MS that people around us might be able to see or hear. They can include:

loss of balance and dizziness

muscle stiffness or spasms

tremor

speech problems
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Invisible symptoms

MS can cause symptoms that other people can't easily see. The invisible symptoms of MS can include:

fatigue

pain

bladder problems

bowel trouble

vision problems

difficulty swallowing
Oral health
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Memory, thinking and emotions

For some people, MS has an effect on memory, thinking and emotions. Find out about:

problems with memory and thinking

Mental health

Early signs of MS

MS can cause a wide range of symptoms and there's no exact list of early signs. A first symptom for one person may never be experienced by someone else.

Find out about early signs of MS

Sex and relationships

Anyone can experience sexual problems, and MS symptoms can throw extra challenges into the mix. Things like changes in sensation, fatigue and muscle spasms can all have an effect. But you can find ways to enjoy sex and intimacy.
Read about sex and MS

Exercises for MS symptoms

Research tells us exercise can help you manage common MS symptoms, like fatigue, muscle spasms or balance. So we've worked with neurophysiotherapist Rachel and Pilates instructor Beth to create a series of exercise videos tailored to symptoms you've told us you need help with most. There is an audio described version of this video.
Find more exercises for MS symptoms
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Find support near you

We can't meet face-to-face right now. But there's still lots of ways to connect with people near you who understand what life's like with MS. From coffee mornings to online yoga classes. Put in your postcode to find out what's near you.

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Urgent appeal: Help us be there for everyone with MS.

Urgent appeal: Help us be there for everyone with MS.